Book Review: Sidebarred by Emma Chase

Legal Briefs, #3.5
| +Goodreads | Excerpt |
Join Jake & Chelsea, Stanton & Sofia, Brent & Kennedy as they navigate the hilarious and heartwarming hurdles of love, life and the law in this final addition to the Legal Briefs Series.

There was a time when Jake Becker had it all together. He was controlled, driven, ruthless—in and out of the courtroom.

Then, six irresistible orphans and their heartbreakingly beautiful aunt crashed into his perfectly ordered life. They changed everything. They changed him. Now he’s a husband, an upstanding member of society, a father figure—a family man.

And he’s pretty damn good at it.

Sure, he has to referee sibling smackdowns, re-learn algebra, ensure his clients stay of jail, and keep his wife happy—but it finally feels like he’s got it together again....

So, of course something has to screw it all up. It’s huge. Life-changing. Kind of terrifying.

And it will be the most amazing, perfect thing he’ll ever do.

*** Copy provided in exchange for an honest review ***


As soon as I finished Sidebarred, I was on cloud nine! This novella was just an absolutely perfect way to close out the Legal Briefs series! Once again, I found myself swept up in Emma Chase's stellar writing--that signature mix of quick-witted humor, sex appeal, and heart-fluttering emotion. This time around, though, it was a little less powerhouse attorneys and more about the roles of spouse and parent. We're given an extended look into what Happily Ever After is like for the Legal Briefs gang, their organized chaos of balancing work, married life, and parenthood!

Fans will enjoy appearances from all of the couples in the series. Stanton and Sofia. Brent and Kennedy. Jake and Chelsea. The whole group gets to take the stage one more time! However, in this grand finale...Emma let's her strongest and brightest star shine, and that star is absolutely Jake. Becker. Sidebarred is undoubtedly the Jake Becker Show. It's his voice who gets to tell the story, his point of view that fans get one more taste of. I fell in love with him all over again and loved every minute of it!
The only reason I really believe in my own goodness is because I see it reflected in her eyes.
Even with the quick pace, this author still had plenty up her sleeve! So many details were packed into a mere 100 or so pages. There were some utterly fantastic and powerful scenes between Jake, Chelsea, and the kids...Ones that caused fits of laughter, ones that pulled at my heartstrings...With two adults + six kids crammed into a single scene, you'd think it'd be too busy and overwhelming for the reader, but Emma Chase pulled off those family moments flawlessly every time. The holidays, the milestones, and the heart-to-hearts. Even the group scenes when Stanton, Sofia, Brent, and Kennedy were around...The dialogue. The banter...It was all flawless. I loved every single little thing!

But in case you're wondering if Jake might be a little too comfortable in Domestic Zen Mode...and maybe he won't carry the same edge like he did in Sustained...Oh, don't worry. He hasn't lost his touch at all. ;) The badass knight-in-shining-armor is still alive and well, and he's as hot and passionate as ever! :D (I was squealing and bookmarking a page before I was even done with the first chapter...I mean, DAMN. *infinite heart eyes*)
There's something primal about giving in to this base need--being rouch and dirty and fast. There's something so intimate and comfortable and fucking honest about just wanting to come, and come hard, with the person you love. It's a feeling I've only ever known with this woman in my arms--something I'll only ever share with her.
For such a relatively short book, I felt SO many different emotions while I was reading. After making you laugh and swoon, Emma also has this fabulous way of getting to your heart and squeezing! I really thought I could make it without becoming a teary-eyed mess, but sure enough, the waterworks started up in those last couple of chapters! It didn't matter that this was "only" a novella. By the time I reached the end, it was clear just how far these characters have come since we first met them. I got such a truly satisfying experience out of this book. I'm telling you...the cloud nine feeling was in full effect!
"This isn't what we planned."

I cup her beautiful face in both hands. "I didn't plan on you, Chelsea. Or them. And for as long as I live, you will be the best thing that ever happened to me."
Jake and Chelsea were my favorite of the Legal Briefs series already, but after Sidebarred, they've cemented a top spot on my list of favorite couples EVER. We get it all in this book, going from crazy and wildly entertaining in one minute, to sweet and heartwarming in the next. There's a little bit of everything, the perfect blend! (Including a few surprises!) It makes me so incredibly happy to say, as a HUGE fan of this series and of these characters, that Sidebarred exceeded all of my expectations. It was so, so, so good. If you're a Legal Briefs lover too, make sure to grab your copy of this novella ASAP. You don't want to miss out on this final, AMAZING ride with Jake!


Legal Briefs, #1
As a DC defense attorney, Stanton Shaw keeps his head cool, his questions sharp, and his arguments irrefutable. They don’t call him the Jury Charmer for nothing – with his southern drawl, disarming smile and captivating green eyes – he’s a hard man to say no to. Men want to be him and women want to be thoroughly cross examined by him.

Stanton’s a man with a plan. And for a while, life was going according to that plan.

Until the day he receives an invitation to the wedding of his high school sweetheart and mother of his beloved ten-year old daughter. Jenny is getting married — to someone who isn’t him.

That's definitely not part of the plan.


Sofia Santos is a city raised, no-nonsense litigator who plans to become the most revered criminal defense attorney in the country. She doesn’t have time for relationships or distractions.

But when Stanton, her "friend with mind-blowing benefits" begs for help, she finds herself out of her element, out of her depth, and obviously out of her mind. Because she agrees to go with him – to The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, Mississippi – to do all she can to help Stanton win back the woman he loves.

Her head tells her she's crazy...and her heart says something else entirely.


What happens when you mix a one stop-light town, two professional arguers, a homecoming queen, four big brothers, some Jimmy Dean sausage and a gun-toting Nana?

The Bourbon flows, passions rise and even the best laid plans get overruled by the desires of the heart.

Legal Briefs, #2
A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I'm going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal's office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that — that, I know how to do.

Legal Briefs, #3 
| +Goodreads | My Review |
When Brent Mason looks at Kennedy Randolph, he doesn’t see the awkward, sweet girl who grew up next door. He sees a self-assured, stunning woman…who wants to crush the most intimate - and prized - parts of his anatomy beneath the heels of her Christian Louboutins.

Brent has never let the loss of his leg in a childhood accident affect his ability to lead a fulfilling life. He sets high goals–and then he reaches them.

And now he has his sights set on Kennedy.
When Kennedy looks at Brent Mason, all she sees is the selfish, Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue-worthy teenager who humiliated her in high school to join the popular crowd. A crowd that made those years a living hell.

She’s not a lovesick social outcast anymore - she’s a DC prosecutor with a long winning streak behind her. Brent is the opposing attorney in her next case and she thinks it’s time to put him through a little hell of his own.

But things aren’t exactly working out that way.

Because every fiery exchange has her wondering if he’s as passionate in the bedroom as he is in the courtroom. Each argument and objection only makes him want her more. In the end, Brent and Kennedy may just find themselves in love…or in contempt of court.

APPEALED is a sexy, humorous romance about first crushes, second chances and the final verdict of the heart.

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By day, Emma Chase is a devoted wife and mother of two who resides in a small, rural town in New Jersey. By night she is a keyboard crusader, toiling away the hours to bring her colorful characters and their endless antics to life. She has a long standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

Emma is an avid reader. Before her children were born she was known to consume whole books in a single day. Writing has also always been a passion and with the 2013 release of her debut romantic comedy, Tangled, the ability to now call herself an author is nothing less than a dream come true.